As many of you will have noticed, I haven’t had a chance to write my blog in a while. I’ve been working, drinking, traveling, eating, drinking, at industry events and yes, more drinking! I finally have a little time to report back on my experiences before I head to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail in 2 weeks. There will be new posts going up shortly so be sure to check in again soon.
In “Fussy One News” I would like to let you know that another piece of my writing has been published in this months issue (July 2012) of The Tasting Panel Magazine.
This is the second time i’ve been fortunate enough to have my words in print (See May issue) and I was thrilled at the chance to cover the ‘Absolut Stuga’ event that was held in Hollywood last month.
I had been planning to attend the Stuga event long before I was asked to cover it for the magazine, so I was even more excited to be there when I had the task of interviewing bartenders and industry professionals (most of whom are now my very good friends!)
I have been to several Absolut events in the past so knew it would be a fun occasion, because if anyone knows how to throw a good party, it’s definitely Absolut. This event was certainly great fun and entertaining, however it differed from previous years because there was a far more prominent focus on education regarding the product and it’s development this time.
Experts from Sweden, London and New York had been flown in to teach us about the process, distillation and marketing behind the iconic brand. It actually made for a very informative and interesting evening, and completely different to what I had expected.
I have to admit, I was somewhat surprised to learn so many facts about the brand that actually impressed me. As most of my readers know, Vodka is not my go-to alcohol of choice, mainly due to the fact I find it to have no real flavor profile. However, I was throughly intrigued by the history and ‘one source’ philosophy that Absolut adheres to.
Did you know that the winter wheat, the purist water, the distilling, bottling and packaging for Absolut all takes place in one very tiny region in Sweden?! It literally all comes from ‘one source’…near the city of Åhus in Skåne County, Sweden.
A small community of local Swedish farmers, millers and workers are the team behind one of the biggest Vodka brands in the World, which I think is really quite remarkable.
I have a new found respect for the company as a whole especially when I heard first hand that some of the farmers have worked with the brand for over 25 years.
I admit, I always assumed Absolut was just another big brand that was only popular because it was pushed by clever advertising, however the Stuga event (named after Swedish cottages) was designed to shed new light on their product, which it certainly did for me.
I also hadn’t appreciated that the flavored versions of their product use no false or added flavorings.
They steep 100% real fruit in the vodka making it a far more subtle flavor but not fake tasting like many of it’s flavored vodka competitors.
The Absolut tasted great in the cocktails that were on offer throughout the evening, I particularly enjoyed ‘Our Man in Zanilla’ which was sweet, floral and very refreshing.
Our Man in Zanilla- ABSOLUT Vodka, Manzanilla Sherry, Elderflower Liqueur, Grapefruit Zest
The event was spread over 2 days at Paramount Studios. Day One was for industry only and Day Two (yes, I did both!) was open to the public. We ate unusual foods prepared by Animal restaurant, learnt a thing or two about the brand, drank punch, had t-shirts printed, told stories and danced the night away to the DJ. A great experience that everyone I spoke to thoroughly enjoyed.
Check out the article I wrote for the magazine by clicking here and seeing the online version of the July issue. My piece starts on page 67 and is a 3 page photo essay about the Absolut event.
You can also subscribe for the printed version of the magazine from their website, which I highly recommend for those with a serious interest in the alcohol industry.
Please note the photos in this blog are my personal photos from the event, however the ones used in The Tasting Panel article were taken by Erica Bartel.
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Again, big thanks to the Editors of Tasting Panel (in particular, Rachel Burkons) for giving this little British blogger another chance to have their work published…I hope to work for you again soon.
A continued thanks to all my Fussy Readers too, I still can’t believe how many of you there are and I appreciate the support.
KEEP FOLLOWING, DRINKING AND TRYING NEW THINGS!
The Fussy One